Nan briefly spots an ess who disappears just before she finds out his house was full of poisoning supplies, receives some free quinoa and an old monograph nobody will be interested in, and unleashes a horde of carnivorous giant beetles on the poor people of Frogg just so she can be a hero.
- While walking around Frogg as her companions departed with Bronze, Nan thought she spotted a nervous-looking ess man entering a shack. Upon investigation, the shack was empty, with no signs of another way out. Some herbs and grinding equipment were present; Nan recognized some of these as deadly poisons. She fetched Falen, who said the ess was one to be careful of before he disposed of the toxic plants.
- Falen gave Nan a quinoa lunch, as he grew some of the Thelabar-native grains in a little plot near his house. He also gave her a long and boring translation of a very old monograph on religious studies conducted by Stannis Tarth. Nan recalled the name from a series of even more boring letters between two noble houses of Cago dating back to the time of Thurston Royal I.
- In the afternoon, Nan went to the dredging site. Little progress was evident since most of the excavation labor was reallocated to defenses. The basin of the area was continually flooded, and a few grunties and humans were just keeping pace with manual pumps.
- Nan found that she could slowly cut through the stone ledge at one side of the swamp area using her power, although slowly and with a fair bit of mess. She cut two sluice holes in the wall over a period of several hours.
- As dusk approached, one of the grunties shouted an alarm, as a large number of dog-sized beetles began crawling out of one of the outhouses at the site. More came piling out. Pappy Farmer, the overseer, tried to shoo one away with a torch, resulting in him getting bitten.
- Nan carved up a few, as she wasn’t vulnerable to their weak bites, but they did kill one of the human workers and wound another. As several moved up the road, chasing a grunty who had run for help from Frogg, Nan started luring them around, eventually bringing them back to the deepest part of the dredging site, where she and the others shoved them into the water with poles, successfully drowning them.
- On their way back to Frogg to report on this event, Nan came across the corpse of the grunty who had run for help and, a bit further up, several dead beetles and an old grunty bandaging a leg wound. The other grunties told Nan this was Grumbleberry, Master of the Stick and a sort of grunty folk hero. Grumbleberry wandered back into the swamp to continue being enigmatic and awesome.
- Back in Frogg, Pappy cooked up some flesh from one of the bettles and declared it edible, or “at least better than mudskipper.” Others went to retrieve the beetle carcasses, and the next day Pappy gave Nan a package of roasted beetle to eat and share with her friends, plus a package of dried mudskipper for Reed since he liked it so much.